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Linked Smartphones Catch the Action From All Angles

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Multiple handset users snapping photos.

A new software system connects smartphones wirelessly, enabling users to share their phones' features with other devices.

Credit: Lukas Jackson/Reuters

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Eyal Toledano is developing a software system that wirelessly links smartphones together. Toledano says CoSync connects smartphones via their Bluetooth or Wi-Fi antennas, and enables multiple users to share their phones' features with other devices around them.

In a test of the prototype system, six smartphones were linked, and the synchronized camera outperformed single phones in several areas. In tests, the group of phones outperformed single phones by evenly illuminating subjects and avoiding washed out, overexposed images. Flashes going off from different angles and set to go off at different times also could make for more dramatic lighting effects, or be used to avoid red eye, Toledano notes.

In addition to delivering a virtual front-row experience at entertainment events, the system could have an educational application. "You could have students using their own cameras to collect data--like photos of flowers at a learning center--and sharing them in real time with their peers back in the classroom," says Penn State University's Khanjan Mehta. He also says the system could be used to quickly set up networks in refugee camps, war zones, and disaster situations to aid first responders.

From New Scientist
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